Portugal on Monday stated it had recognized 13 circumstances of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, all tied to Belenenses, a soccer membership that was pressured to participate in a top-flight game over the weekend that was deserted whereas in progress.

The nation’s nationwide well being institute stated that the 13 individuals have been isolating and that they have been all gamers or employees members of Belenenses, which fielded a depleted crew of solely 9 gamers in opposition to Benfica on Saturday after reporting a coronavirus outbreak.

The institute additionally confirmed that one of many 13 individuals was a participant who had just lately returned to Portugal from South Africa, whose scientists helped determine Omicron. Benfica’s gamers can be examined for the virus, the nation’s basic well being director, Graça Freitas, instructed the native TSF radio station.

Earlier than the sport on Saturday, as many as 17 gamers and employees members of the Belenenses membership examined optimistic for the virus, though it was unclear on the time whether or not these circumstances concerned the brand new variant. The Belenenses gamers sought to have the sport canceled, however officers reportedly instructed them that it needed to go on.

Individually, Portugal’s well being authorities stated they have been tracing greater than 200 passengers who had arrived in Portugal on Saturday from Maputo, Mozambique. At the least two individuals on the flight had examined optimistic for the virus, however the authorities stated it was too early to verify whether or not these have been Omicron circumstances.

Portugal on Monday started suspending all flights to and from Mozambique, which is a former Portuguese colony and shares a border with South Africa, over issues concerning the new variant.